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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Garbanzo Bean

(Cicer Arietinum)

"For Informational Use Only"
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  • Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Herbal Description
  • Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Dosage Information
  • Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Supplements & Products

  • chickpea (garbanzo bean)  plant


    Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is also known as Chick Pea, Garbanzo Bean, Garbanzo, Bengal Gram, Gram, Ceci, Cece, Channa, Hommes, Hamaz, Nohud, Lablabi, and Shimbra.

    Chickpea is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is also commonly known as Garbanzo or Garbanzo Bean. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes, 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East. It is grown in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions and is valued for its high protein content. It also is rich in vitamin C and contains almost twice the amount of iron as other legumes. This legume is also high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is among one of the easiest beans to digest.

    chickpea pods


    Chickpea seeds are eaten fresh as green vegetables, parched, fried, roasted, and boiled; and as a snack food or made into hummus. Chickpea is reported to be hypo-cholesteremic, and as such, effective in controlling cholesterol levels in rats. This legume is also believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.

    The name "chickpea" traces back through the French chiche to cicer, Latin for 'chickpea' (from which the Roman cognomen Cicero was taken). The Oxford English Dictionary lists a 1548 citation that reads, "Cicer may be named in English Cich, or ciche pease, after the Frenche tongue." The dictionary cites "Chick-pea" in the mid-18th century; the original word in English taken directly from French was chich, found in print in English in 1388.

    The word garbanzo came to English as garvance in the 17th century, from an alteration of the Old Spanish word arvanšo (presumably influenced by garroba), being gradually anglicized to calavance, though it came to refer to a variety of other beans (cf. Calavance). This word is still used in Latin America and Spain to designate chickpeas. Some have suggested that the origin of the word arvanšo is in the Greek erebinthos. Another possible origin is the word garbantzu, from Basque, a non-Indo-European tongue, believed to be one of the oldest languages in Europe, in which it is a compound of garau, seed plus antzu, dry.

    chickpea pods on plant


    The Chickpea plant grows to between 8 to 20 inches high and has small feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpeas are a type of pulse, with one seedpod containing two or three peas. It has white flowers with blue, violet or pink veins. Chickpeas are grown in the Mediterranean, western Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Australia, the Palouse region, and the Great Plains. India is the world leader in chickpea (Bengal gram) production, and produces some 15 times as much as the second largest producer, Australia. Other key producers are Pakistan, Turkey, Myanmor, Ethiopia, and Iran.

    There are three main kinds of chickpea:
    • DESI, which has small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the India and much of the Indian Subcontinent, as well as Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran. The Desi (meaning 'country' or 'local' in Hindi/Urdu) is also known as Bengal gram or kala chana (black chickpea in both Hindi and Urdu) or chhola boot. Desi is likely the earliest form since it closely resembles seeds found both on archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor (Cicer reticulatum) of domesticated chickpeas, which only grows in southeast Turkey, where it is believed to have originated. Desi chickpeas have a markedly higher fiber content than Kabulis and hence a very low glycemic index which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems. The desi type is used to make Chana Dal, which is a split chickpea with the skin removed.

    • BOMBAY (Bambai), which is also dark in color but slightly larger in size than the Desi variety. They too are popular in the Indian Subcontinent.

    • KABULI, associated with Kabul in Afghanistan. These are lighter colored, with larger seeds and a smoother coat, mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, South America and Indian Subcontinent, having been introduced during the 18th century to India. Kabuli (meaning 'from Kabul' in Hindi/Urdu, since they were thought to have come from Afghanistan when first seen in Indian Subcontinent) or safed chana is the kind widely grown throughout the Mediterranean and the Indian Subcontinent.

    Other Varieties
    • An uncommon black chickpea "ceci neri"' is grown only in Puglia, Italy. These chickpeas are larger and blacker than the desi "kala chana" variety.

    • Green Chickpeas are also known as Harbhara/Harbara in India (especially in the state of Maharashtra). Chana Dal is also called as Harbara Dal. Tender / immature harbara with skin is roasted on the coal. After roasting it well it is served by removing the skin. Commonly called as Hula in Marathi. Generally Harbara produced in Maharashtra is Green. White gram is referred as Kabuli Chana.

    fresh chickpeas in pods



    Human studies on the effectiveness of Chickpea on cholesterol levels has yet to be confirmed; however, another study performed at Tulane University has proven that bean eaters who consumed legumes at least 4 times a week had a significantly lower risk of heart disease than people who ate beans only once a week. This legume is also used in treating bronchitis, catarrh, cholera, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, and flatulence. When made into a paste, Chickpea can be applied to snakebite, sunstroke, and warts.

    chickpeas (garbanzo beans)


    Mature chickpeas can be cooked and eaten cold in salads, cooked in stews, ground into a flour called gram flour (also known as chickpea flour and besan and used frequently in Indian cuisine), ground and shaped in balls and fried as falafel, stirred into a batter and baked to make farinata or panelle.

    In the Iberian Peninsula, chickpeas are very popular: In Portugal it is one of the main ingredients in Rancho, consumed with pasta, and meat, including Portuguese sausages, or with rice. they are also often used in other hot dishes with bacalhau and in soup. In Spain they are often used cold in different tapas and salads, as well as in cocido madrile˝o. In Egypt, chickpeas are used as a topping for Kushari.

    Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, which are often cooked and ground into a paste and mixed with tahini, sesame seed paste, the blend called hummus bi tahini, or chickpeas are roasted, spiced, and eaten as a snack, such as leblebi. By the end of t0he 20th century, hummus had emerged as part of the American culinary fabric. By 2010, 5-percent of Americans consumed hummus on a regular basis, and it was present in 17-percent of American households.

    Some varieties of chickpeas can be popped and eaten like popcorn.

    Chickpeas and Bengal grams are used to make curries and are one of the most popular vegetarian foods in the Indian Subcontinent and in diaspora communities of many other countries. Popular dishes in Indian cuisine are made with chickpea flour, such as Mirchi Bajji and Mirapakaya bajji Telugu. In India, as well as in the Levant, unripe chickpeas are often picked out of the pod and eaten as a raw snack and the leaves are eaten as a green vegetable in salads.

    Chickpea flour is used to make "Burmese tofu" which was first known among the Shan people of Burma. The flour is used as a batter to coat various vegetables and meats before frying, such as with panelle, a chickpea fritter from Sicily. Chickpea flour is used to make the Mediterranean flatbread socca and a patty called panisse in Provence, southern France, made of cooked chickpea flour, poured into saucers, allowed to set, cut in strips, and fried in olive oil, often eaten during Lent.

    In the Philippines, garbanzo beans preserved in syrup are eaten as sweets and in desserts such as halo-halo. Ashkenazi Jews traditionally serve whole chickpeas at a Shalom Zachar celebration for baby boys.

    Guasanas is a Mexican chickpea recipe in which the beans are cooked in water and salt.

    Dried chickpeas need a long cooking time (1 to 2 hours) but will easily fall apart when cooked longer. If soaked for 12 to 24 hours before use, cooking time can be shortened by around 30 minutes. To make smooth hummus the cooked chickpeas must be processed while quite hot, since the skins disintegrate only when hot.

    Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) do not cause lathyrism. Similarly named "chickling peas" (Lathyrus sativus) and other plants of the genus Lathyrus contain the toxins associated with lathyrism.

    Other uses include chickpeas increasingly used as animal feed because of their high protein content.


    Chickpeas are an excellent source of the essential nutrients iron, folate, phosphorus, protein and dietary fiber (USDA nutrient table). Chickpeas are low in fat and most of this is polyunsaturated. The nutrient profile of the smaller variety appears to be different, especially for fiber content which is higher than in the larger light colored variety. Preliminary research has shown that chickpea consumption may lower blood cholesterol

    Mature Seeds, Cooked With No Salt

    Nutrition Value Per 100 Grams (3.5 Ounces)
    (Source: USDA National Nutrient Data Base)
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Energy      164 Kcal (686 kJ)      
         Carbohydrates      27.42 g      
         Protein      8.86 g      
         Total Fat      2.59 g      
         Saturated Fat      0.269 g      
         Monounsaturated Fat      0.583 g      
         Polyunsaturated Fat      1.156 g      
         Sugars      4.8 g      
         Dietary Fiber      7.6 g      
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Vitamin A Equivalent      1 µg      0%
         Thiamin (B-1)      0.116 mg      10%
         Riboflavin (B-2)      0.063 mg      5%
         Niacin (B-3)      0.526 mg      4%
         Pantothenic Acid (B-5)      0.286 mg      6%
         Vitamin B-6      0.139 mg      11%
         Folates (B-9)      172 µg      43%
         Vitamin C      1.3 mg      10%
         Vitamin E      0.35 mg      2%
         Vitamin K      4 µg      4%
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Sodium      7 mg      0%
         Potassium      291 mg      6%
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Calcium      49 mg      5%
         Iron      2.89 mg      22%
         Magnesium      48 mg      14%
         Phosphorus      168 mg      24%
         Zinc      1.53 mg      16%
    Other Constituents
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Water      60.21 g      
    µg = Micrograms
    mg = Milligrams
    IU = International Units

    Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
    Source: USDA Nutrient Database


    With just a few simple tricks, you really can make creamy smooth hummus at home and you may actually like it better than commerial hummus. This recipe calls for canned chickpeas, which is much, much quicker than using dried. Some swear by soaking and cooking their own dried chickpeas, but if you want something in a hurry and find that canned chickpeas means you can enjoy your hummus in 10 minutes. The also 0calls for tahini, a creamy paste made from sesame seeds. Some people make hummus without it just fine too. You can usually find tahini in larger grocery stores or specialty markets.

    You will need a mesh strainer or colander, food processor, silicone spatula, measuring cups and spoons. This recipe makes about 1.5 cups of hummus.

      One 15-ounce can chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans
      1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
      1/4 cup tahini
      Half of a large garlic clove, minced
      2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
      1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
      1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
      2 to 3 tablespoons water
      Dash of ground paprika for serving


    Preparing the Hummus - In the bowl of a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps "whip" or "cream" the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and the salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice mixture. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.

    Adding the Chickpeas - Open can of chickpeas, drain liquid then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.

    Creating the Perfect Consistency - Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.

    To Serve - Scrape the hummus into a bowl then drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika.

    To Store - Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.


    Roasted bell peppers add a smoky sweetness to the hummus. It is simple, to the above recipe, add two roasted red peppers. You can roast your own or easily use 3/4 cup chopped jarred roasted peppers.

    To roast your own peppers, first remove the core and cut the peppers into a few flat pieces. This way they can be placed skin-side up, onto a baking sheet. Slide them under the broiler (about 5 inches from the broiler) and broil until the pepper skin has charred. It usually only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to roast peppers. After roasting, add the peppers to a resealable plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap and set the peppers aside. They steam alittle, which helps the skin pull away from the pepper, making it extra easy to peel. Gently peel away the charred pepper skin and discard. You can reserve 1 to 2 pieces to use as a garnish, when serving, then roughly chop the rest of the peeled peppers. Add to your hummus recipe while still in the food processor and continue to process for one to two minutes until smooth. Add a pinch of cayenne (optional). To serve, finely chop reserved peper from earlier. Scrape the hummus into a bowl, make a small well in the middle and add finely chopped peppers. Store as recommended above.


    To the above basic hummus recipe, add 1/2 cup slow roasted tomatoes or a scant 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes with a little water. Add to food processor and blend before adding chickpeas. Follow directions as usual. Extra garlic can be added, if desired to taste.


    Spiced beef can be made in minutes. Cook ground beef in a skillet and add lots of zesty spices like cumin and cayenne pepper. Then, add the beef to the basic creamy hummus (above) and serve. Ground lamb, chicken or turkey can be used in place of beef, if desired.

      3 tablespoons olive oil
      1 lb. lean ground beef
      1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
      1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
      1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/4 cup chicken stock
      2 cups hummus 5 to 6 mint leaves, chopped
      2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

    Directions: Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil then cook 6 to 8 minutes until beef has browned. Stir in cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, coriander, all spice and the salt. Next, add chicken stock and cook until reduced, about 5 minutes. Add hummus to a bowl then top with spiced beef, one more tablespoon of olive oil, chopped mint and feta cheese. Serves 4 to 6.


      1 cup hulled sesame seeds
      3 tablespoons or more extra virgin olive oil

    Directions: Heat a clean, dry cast iron or heavy duty skillet over medium high heat and add the sesame seeds. Stir frequently until they begin to turn golden brown and then stir constantly. Be careful, sesame seeds burn very easily. Once they are toasted, let them cool a few minutes then add them to a food processor. Start by adding 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Process the mixture into a paste, scraping down the sides. Add more olive oil until you reach the desired consistency This recipe makes a little less than 3/4 cup tahini paste, depending on how much olive oil you use.

    Store the tahini paste in the refrigerator in an airtight jar. Will keep for several months.

    The texture may be slightly gritty, which is not a problem, you will not notice it at all when you use it to make hummus for example. But if you want it extra smooth you can run it again through a high-powered food blender. Instead of olive oil you can also use sesame oil, but olive oil is traditional. (Use raw sesame oil, not toasted, or the tahini will have an overpowering Chinese food flavor.)


      1/2 cup oil
      1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
      3/4 cup sugar
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon pepper

      1 (16-ounce) can green beans, drained
      1 (16-ounce) can wax beans, drained
      1 (16-ounce) can kidney or red beans, drained
      1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
      1 red onion, diced
      3/4 cup green pepper, diced
      3/4 cup celery, chopped

    Mix dressing add all beans drained and rinsed. Refrigerate and toss occasionally for overnight to let flavors blend. Serves 12.


    I like extra green beans in my bean salad and I prefer to use the french style cut over the regular cut canned green beans and since I am also a jalapeno pepper addict, I throw a few finely chopped peppers in too. I also find that a store-bought Italian dressing works well with all the spices included in it. I usually use a low fat dressing that has less oil. However if you want to make your own dressing, this is fine too. This recipe can be stepped up another notch by adding a drained can of lima beans to the mix, making it a five bean salad, if desired.

    Salad Ingredients
      2 cans (14.5 oz.) french style cut green beans, drained
      1 cans (16 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained
      1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
      1 can (14.5 oz.) cut wax beans, drained
      1 cup diced or julienned green and red bell pepper
      8 green onions, sliced
      1/2 to 1 red onion, diced
      1 cup celery sliced
      1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)

    Add ingredients into a bowl and mix lightly to blend beans and vegetables. Add a zesty Italian dressing and mix it in. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.

    Zesty Italian Dressing

      1 cup of the vinegar of your choice (apple cider, white, balsamic, red wine vinegars)
      1 1/3 cup of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil or canola oil
      2 tablespoons of water (or lemon juice)
      3 cloves finely minced garlic
      1 tablespoon garlic salt
      1 tablespoon onion powder
      1 tablespoon white sugar
      2 tablespoons dried oregano
      1 teaspoon ground black pepper
      1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
      1 teaspoon dried basil
      1 tablespoon dried parsley
      1/4 teaspoon celery salt
      1 to 2 tablespoons sea salt (adjust according to personal taste)

    Other Optional Ingredients
      2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper (optional)
      2 tablespoons minced onion (optional)
      Dash paprika (optional)
      1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
      2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (optional)
      1 tablespoon dijon mustard (optional)

    In a bowl, whisk together or briskly shake in a sealed bottle all ingredients until perfectly blended. Put in refrigerator and can be stored up to 90 days. Do not be afraid to adjust ingredients to your own taste preferences.


      1 medium red bell pepper
      2 (15 ounce) cans (no salt added) chickpeas (garbanzos)
      2 tablespoons white onion (minced)
      2 cloves garlic (minced)
      2 stalks celery (diced)
      1 tablespoon fresh mint (minced)
      1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
      1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
      2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
      1 ounce feta cheese (crumbled fine)

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the red pepper in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes turning about every ten minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a paper bag. When the pepper is cooled the skin will easily slip off. Seed and dice the pepper. (Alternatively bottled roasted, peeled and seeded peppers work very well. Make sure the peppers are packed in water and not oil. Rinse under cold water before dicing.)

    Rinse the chickpeas under cold water.

    Combine the cooled pepper with the rinsed chick peas, onion, garlic, celery, mint, tarragon, olive oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper. Toss well and then add the crumbled feta cheese. Toss again and chill well. Serves 4.


      2 (15.5 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and roughly chopped
      2 to 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
      1/2 red onion, finely chopped
      1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
      1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
      1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
      3 tablespoons lemon juice
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1 clove garlic, minced
      Salt and pepper, to taste
      2 (5 ounce) cans chunk-light tuna in water, drained

    Directions: In a large bowl combine all ingredients, folding the tuna in last. Serve with pita bread, crackers or enjoy it all on its own! Serves 12.


    Dressing Ingredients
      1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
      2 cloves garlic, crushed
      1 small red onion, diced
      4 tablespoons apple cider or white wine vinegar
      1/2 teaspoon red chilli peppers
      1/4 teaspoon sea salt
      1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      5 tablespoon olive oil
      1 lime, juiced

    Salad Ingredients
      1 can of chickpeas, rinsed well
      3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
      1/2 red pepper, diced
      1/2 green pepper, diced

    Directions: Set a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and toss in the garlic and red onions. Stir for 1 minute, until garlic gives off a nutty scent. Add the vinegar while still on heat and cook down and stir in the chilli flakes along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool before adding the additional olive oil and lime juice. In a large bowl, add all of the salad ingredients and spoon the dressing from the pan over salad. Toss to coat. Leave for 1 hour to marinate and serve at room temperature.


    Chickpea comes in various medicinal and culinary forms and is an ingredient in many products. For best results, read and follow product label directions.


    Chickpea is regarded as safe whether it is used for culinary or medicinal purposes.


  • Chick Pea (Garbanzo Bean) Herbal Products




    Kalyx: Garbanzo Bean, Kelley Bean Co, 20 lbs: GR
    Description Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are a staple food in the Middle East and are high in potassium, calcium, iron and vitamin A. This round bean can be paired with rice and other grains and is traditionally used to make hummus. Each case consists of twenty pounds. Each case consists of twenty pounds.
    Kalyx: Chick Peas Roasted & Salted, Imported Products, 22 lbs: GR
    These chick peas are oven roasted and salted for extra flavor. Enjoy them as a snack or add them to your favorite party mix for additional crunch and flavor. Each case consists of 22 pounds.


    Amazon: Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Grocery & Gourmet Food Products

    Amazon: Garbanzo, True Dehydrated, Fast Cooking Beans, Mother Earth Products, 1 Full Quart
    Amazon: Garbanzo Chickpeas, Arrowhead Mills, 1 lb.
    Amazon: Garbanzo Beans, Bob's Red Mill, 25-Ounce (Pack of 4)
    Amazon: Garbanzo (Chick Peas), Spicy World, Chick Peas, 64-oz. Pouches (Pack of 4)
    Amazon: Garbanzo Beans, U.S.A Grown, Palouse Brand, 5 lbs.
    100% Non-Irradiated | Certified Kosher Parve | Non-GMO Project Verified, Identity Preserved (We tell you which field we grew it in)

    Amazon: Dried Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas), Treasured Harvest, 25 lb. Bag

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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
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  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index

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